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64 more Illinois coronavirus deaths, 715 new cases

Wednesday’s tally marked the first time in two weeks that the state reported 700 or more cases in a single day, but it’s still been almost three weeks since the daily count surpassed 1,000.

Nurse practitioner Capri Reese talks to a patient while a doctor administers an IV at Roseland Community Hospital in Chicago, Tuesday, April 28, 2020.
Nurse practitioner Capri Reese talks to a patient while a doctor administers an IV at Roseland Community Hospital on April 28.
Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times

Health officials on Wednesday announced 64 more people have died of COVID-19 in Illinois, as an additional 715 tested positive for the virus.

That raises the state’s coronavirus death toll to 6,770, while at least 138,540 people have contracted the virus since late January, according to the latest figures from the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Wednesday’s tally marked the first time in two weeks that the state reported 700 or more cases in a single day, but it’s still been almost three weeks since the daily count surpassed 1,000. The state has seen declining weekly death and case totals for five consecutive weeks, according to Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike.

The state has averaged about 58 coronavirus deaths per day so far this month. That rate was nearly 100 per day during May, Illinois’ peak month of the pandemic. Overall, since the state’s first coronavirus death in mid-March, the virus has claimed an average of about 68 lives daily.

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The latest casualties included a Cook County man in his 30s and another in his 40s, though the virus has typically affected older people with underlying health conditions.

Nursing homes and other long-term care facilities have accounted for more than half the death total: 3,649 among the 21,390 cases confirmed in them.

Additionally, 204 deaths and 1,000 infections are considered to have been untested but “probable” coronavirus cases statewide.

The 715 new cases were confirmed among the latest 29,331 test results received by the state, as more than 1.4 million people have now been tested.

The statewide positivity rate over the last week is 3%, with all regions of Illinois poised to enter the fourth phase of reopening Friday. That’ll allow museums and more businesses to reopen, with gatherings limited to 50 people.